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Am I an idiot?


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Hi All,


I'm new to this forum but decided to join because I'm so conflicted and confused and really just wanted a neutral opinion on my situation.


I was with my ex for about 1.5 years.... and we have had our ups and downs. Recently (probably the last 3 months or so) we were fighting more than before and a lot of our past mistakes always come back to haunt us during these times. Our most recent fight was about 1 month ago - where we both said mean things and he broke it off with me..... he told me that I didn't respect him because I told him that I thought he felt he was so perfect next to me, that he didn't do any wrong and everytime we fight - it's always my faults that seem to be magnified. I did say it in a sarcastic way - like, right because your perfect... oh gosh... you do nothing wrong... etc... He said he couldn't be with someone who thought of him like that.... because he isn't like that... and all my things were packed up and taken from his place.


Flash forward 2 weeks.... after a lot of tears and emotional (begging) emails from me to him apologizing for hurting him... He tells me that he loves me, that he doesn't know if he will ever love anyone like me... but he can't be with someone he feels doesn't respect him.... and he's not sure that I do.... but he still wanted me... he just didn't know if we had a future....


We were supposed to have gone away on vacation together.... because we booked off time... and because we were still talking during this time leading up to the vacation, I kept asking on if we could work on reconciling, with no real answers from him.... Just the I don't know. So because of my emotional state and feeling so alone I booked a last minute trip (booked it on) the day before I started my vacation from work - to go see my girlfriend who lived down south. When I told him about my trip, he was upset and told me that it hurt him even more to see that I could so easily move on with my life and again questioned whether I respected him or wanted this as much. And how he would be alone during this week to dwell while I went out and had the time of my life.


I was so hurt but I tried so hard to convince him I wasn't moving on, but I was sad and to avoid staying home alone and weeping, I made my trip. We spent the next couple of days together until I left for my trip and tried to work on things and when I left, things seemed to be on the upswing. We spoke everyday while I was away and we even became intimate again.


So now I've come home from my trip and we spend some more time together... having missed each other when I was gone. We are having fun, going out and again being intimate.... So I think we are pretty much back on track.... until last night.


So I ask him basically where we are.... are we back together.... are we committed... are we working on our future... And again he tells me that he's not there yet... That he's not ready to let me back completely in his heart or his life. That he's scared I will hurt him again.... and that he's still not certain if we are right for one another....


And that... well, that just broke my heart.... so I asked him if he wanted to date other people... since if he's not sure of me, there's no point in just being with me... because I want to find my future... not just my for now....


He explains that he doesn't want to date around... he just wants to do some thinking... and that he can't let me all into his heart....


So I tell him I don't know what that means... but I can't give myself completely (heart and body) to someone who is so unsure of me.... that I'm sorry I hurt him... but I'm hurting too and that I don't think I deserve half a boyfriend.... that I love him, I want him.. and even with the hurt and wrongs he had made in the past.... I still saw him as my future.


But he couldn't say the same for me. So I told him to take his time and figure out what he wants.... that I'll just accept that at this time, he is not my boyfriend, we are not in a committed relationship and if he wants to date around to find something he's sure of - he's free to.


It ended with him saying he doesn't want to date around.... he's just going to be alone but I can date others if I want.... but again it hurts him to know that I want to date others....


So now I'm sitting here and I'm so confused.... I don't want to date others but he doesn't want to give me a committment and he's reconfirmed he's not ready to let me back into his heart....


So I don't know what to do.... any advice would be helpful....

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Okay, here's my perspective.


He is being profoundly oversensitive. What you said was unfair, yes, but we do say unfair things sometimes. That's a part of being in a relationship. To bail out of a relationship entirely because one person says one hurtful thing ... that's ridiculously oversensitive, IMO. It's childishly dramatic, self-absorbed, and unnecessary. I say self-absorbed because the ensuing behaviour (on his part) is focused solely on his own bruised feelings; and neglects utterly the emotional pain his fatalism has on you.


But more than that, I don't think he's being honest with you. The way he breaks up with you, but then continues to play your feelings like a harp - to guilt you over your trip, and so on - suggests to me that this whole break-up is a means, not an end. What I mean is, it seems as though he's punishing you for what you said, not leaving you for it. As though he has no real intention of letting you go over something so silly, but that he wants to make sure you'll dance to his tune should you get back together. His actions (as you've described them) have an appearance of emotional manipulation, and a covert attempt to control you through guilt and stonewalling.


My advice is simple. Give him the space (he bluffs) that he wants. Let him see that you won't play into his games. If he wants you (and you still want him), he'll need to get over his oversensitivity and his childish pride. When (or should I say 'if') he does that, you can meet him half-way.


For whatever it's worth, that's my two cents. Good luck.

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Thanks so much for both of your responses.... it's just so confusing for me right now.


Like I said before, I'm not an angel and I know I can say mean and hurtful things when I get upset. I totally agree with your statement Lucius - that we all say unfair things in a relationship - especially when we are upset. When we were talking about it, I had told him that I was sorry for what I said - but in truth, I do always feel like I'm the "worse-half" of our relationship.... and that I want to try to be a better person to him, but I know that my emotions get the best of me and I may say something mean or hurtful in the future - not to intentionally cause harm but because I'm so upset. I guess he doesn't agree.....


I guess I can see what you mean about the guilt because I do feel guilty and I beat myself up everyday for what I said... and it's really gotten to me. Because each time we broach this subject - he reminds me of how hurtful I was and how I will never understand how what I did has affected him the way it has.


The worst part is that I feel like my fears... my insecurities.... and my feelings have to be placed on the backburner for now... while I help him overcome his.... to even give us a fighting chance. And I would and have done this.... because I feel like I've wronged him.... and in a way, I feel pretty pathetic.....


I don't know if I should just move on or keep hope.... I'm so confused... I know if I try to move on with my life... and if I do start to date.... I will lose him forever... but I don't know how to stay the course - knowing full well that he's not really mine...

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Which is precisely why this kind of thing is so unfair. As I see it, there's only ever two options in situations like these. One, you nut it out together, and work out ways to treat each other with more respect. You commit to making that effort - and to weathering the hard times, because you both feel it's ultimately worth it. Two, you break up for good - with no false hopes of getting back together. Because ultimately, it ain't worth it. By falling somewhere between those two options, your (ex?) partner is indulging his unwillingness to make a responsible choice, and makes a painful situation (your initial argument) even more damaging - for both parties. I consider that to be a highly juvenile and irresponsible approach.


Sadly, all you can do now is take him at his word. Assume it's over. As bad as that is, it leaves you in a saner place than you will be if you wait outside a door that may never open.

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Argh.... so I'm frustrated even moreso now.....


Today I received two emails from my ex(?). The first one stated that he saw me earlier (we work in the same building) and because he was talking with someone else - he couldn't say hi or wave, so he owed me a hi and just wanted to email that. So not sure what to do, I just wrote back - no worries, hi back at you... and sent it.


Now just as I'm about to log off for the day, I get another email from him.... saying "I am always thinking about you, just so you know. It's not that I don't love you.... I hope you never think that. Have a good night hun."


WTH? I really don't know what he wants from me.... he can't commit to me or let me completely in his heart - but sends messages like this. It's so confusing and so heart breakingly painful on my side.... Should I just ignore him and give him NC? I don't know what he wants from me....

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So because of my emotional state and feeling so alone I booked a last minute trip (booked it on) the day before I started my vacation from work - to go see my girlfriend who lived down south. When I told him about my trip, he was upset and told me that it hurt him even more to see that I could so easily move on with my life and again questioned whether I respected him or wanted this as much. And how he would be alone during this week to dwell while I went out and had the time of my life.


That is emotional blackmail. He can't have it both ways. Sorry, this man is a manipulative headcase.

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